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I was so lucky to find out about Trekking for Kids! I know we went on this expedition to make a difference in kids lives, but having the opportunity to help these kids has also made a huge difference in my life. I have come away from our trip to Nepal with a love for the kids I met, memories of hiking in the majestic Himalayas, and the opportunity to meet great people who enjoy giving to others like I do. I still think about those cute kids, and I am grateful I was able to be a part of helping improve their circumstances.
Kristin Bird, California
Nepal Trek 2010
Trip Report: Nepal Trek 2010 - Everest Base Camp
Trekking for Kids' 2010 expedition to Nepal Everest Base Camp truly was a "Trip of a Lifetime." Voted by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of 2010's, "50 Tours of a Lifetime," Trekking for Kids rose to the occasion and offered two back-to-back expeditions to Nepal. These trips provided the opportunity for 40 Trekkers from the US, Canada, and Europe, to not only walk in the shadows of some of the most iconic mountains in the world, but to do it for the good of the forgotten children of Nepal.
For 13 days, Trekkers followed in the footsteps of world-famous mountaineers, covering 75 miles of majestic terrain that included small villages with stone huts, rice fields, and even a Tibetan monastery, as well as metal suspension bridges that swayed and bounced above the blue-green glacial melt Imja River. All of this and more on our way to our final destination at 17,650 feet: the base camp of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
Our highest point, however, actually came when we reached the summit of the neighboring Mt. Kalaphatar, at 18,513 ft. There we were treated to a glorious sunset and alpenglow on Everest – a sight that overwhelmed even our local guides. The journey through the Himalayas was also an unforgettable experience that allowed us to marvel, up close, at such giants as Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Lhotse, glimpse into the lives of the Sherpa people who make the Himalayas their home, and form life-long friendships with our Nepali guides and fellow Trekkers.
As with all of our expeditions, we spent several truly unforgettable days with the children at our sponsored orphanages. This year, with two expeditions, we were able to help two orphanages: the Orphan Children Rescue Center in Bhaktapur, home to 25 children ages 6-16, and Amma Ko Ghar in Kathmandu, home to 22 children ages 6-14. Even in the midst of another challenging economic year, our donors proved to be as generous as ever, allowing our Trekkers to once again surpass our fundraising goals and raise a combined $95,000 to benefit the orphan children.
At the Orphanage, Trek 1: At the Orphan Children Rescue Center in Bhaktapur donations were used to double the living space of its 25 young inhabitants. Using local labor, an entire new floor was added to the top of the house, creating three new bedrooms, a storage room, a study room, three bathrooms, and a spacious sitting/play area. The new addition allows them to house the boys and girls on separate floors and provides a fantastic space in which to study, play and eventually take in more children.
More 'hands on' materials such as sports equipment, backpacks, school supplies, clothing, school shoes and plenty of food and fun for Dashain and Diwali (special Nepal holidays) were also provided.
Having surpassed our fundraising goals, we were also able to provide some additional improvements including the reparation of the outside walls and floors, the addition of new carpets, and finally the purchase and installation of a veritable luxury in this part of the world: a power inverter. This will enable the orphanage to have consistent lighting so the children can study in spite of the frequent power outages that occur during the long winter months.
At the Orphanage, Trek 2: In Kathmandu, the funds raised were literally used to give 22 children a fresh start at life. In partnership with the Mountain Fund, a US based non-profit working in Nepal, we moved the children out of their former home, the derelict and poorly run Orphan Child Welfare Center, into one that will quite literally secure the futures of each of these special children. Now managed by our partner, the Mountain Fund, the new home is called Amma Ko Ghar which in English means Mother's Home. With the help of our generous donors, Trekking for Kids has provided its young residents with plenty of space to grow, new furnishings, and financial support for the next year as the Mountain Fund works on sustainability projects to support the new home. In addition, thee were sports equipment, backpacks, school supplies, clothing, shoes, fleece blankets, and toys for all. For most of the children, these gifts were the very first they had ever received.
A highlight for the children at both orphanages was an all day field trip, where fresh air, good food, music and open spaces were the overriding themes. It was a special treat for the children to be able to leave the city, their home and daily routine to embark on an adventure in a new place where they could run freely, eat to their hearts content, play, and just be kids. As is also our tradition, we celebrated our new friendships with an evening of music, dancing, performances by the children, and traditional food (even a special Nepali style Thanksgiving Feast during our second expedition). Each of the children enjoyed showing off their dance moves and teaching us how to move Nepali style, to the beat of local musician's drums. The smiling faces of the children only served to confirm why we had logged over 20,000 air miles, trekked 13 days and 75 miles, and made so many personal sacrifices...to bring them a few days of love and a future filled with hope.
On behalf of Trekking for Kids and all of the trekkers on the 2010 Marquee Treks to Nepal, thank you for trusting us and for helping make this truly a "trip of a lifetime"...With your help we can make a difference...One Step at a Time®.
Twenty Trekkers braved post hurricane Guatemala to help open a boys home and trek in the Mayan Highlands.